Hi! My name is Jamie, and welcome to my day-to-day journey in finding balance in life. Although there are many surprises and challenges in our every day, I believe life can be made easier by controlling what we can. By eating real, honest, wholesome food, living an active lifestyle, and looking at things optimistically, we can feel free to attempt the impossible: take chances, make mistakes, yet still find our way back to balanced.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good evening, friends!
I was thinking lately. You know how when you see people you haven’t seen in a long time, and they say, “what are you up to these days?”, or “what are you doing now?”…Well, why does that always have to be a question of “what’s your employment?” Why is our job what defines us?
It really bugs me. I choose not to define myself by my job right now. It’s not what I want to do in life, and I don’t want anyone to judge me, for better or worse, for what I’m doing to make money. I do many other things besides work, and I like to think of work as a small part of my life. I even have other jobs besides my 9-5, jobs I really enjoy and feel connected to.
I also enjoy cooking, blogging, music, concerts, running, laughing with friends…the list goes on. And these things are what I’ve been up to.
So when you ask me, “what are you up to?”…don’t expect me to answer with anything about work.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Moving on…here’s what I did today…
Woke up, made oats topped with maple syrup, bananas, slivered almonds, and raspberry jelly.
Ran my 2 miles for my 1/2 marathon training. Short, easy day.
Showered, made lunch…
Went to work
Ate my lunch…
^^A dish I tried to mimic from Israel^^
Whole wheat cous cous, asparagus, spicy hummus, a hard boiled egg, and cumin spiced chickpeas.
My mom’s homemade bran muffin (she’s famous for these)
topped blueberry Oikos Greek Yogurt. This was a fab combo.
This was the first day in SO many that I actually got to come home at 5- right after work. So I took advantage of the extra time and made a nice dinner for my parents and I.
Just cut the top off a bulb of garlic
Drizzle olive oil on it.
Wrap in foil and stick in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
In the meanwhile…
RISOTTO! This is one of my all time favorite dishes. Very easy to make, but also very time consuming.
The variation I made was a mushroom onion risotto with feta and pine nuts.
First sauteed garlic, onion, and button mushrooms.
While that was going I cleaned out 3 portabella mushrooms
^^Just scraped out the sides of the innards^^
This is the risotto I used- aka Italian Long Grain Arborio Rice
I added 2 cups of risotto to the pan with the veggies. Sautee that for a while, toasting the rice.
Add 3/4 cups of white wine to that pan…and some chopped green onions.
And give me a little glass to drink on the side 🙂
Make sure there is a pan of veggie broth simmering. And start grilling your portabella mushrooms.
After the wine evaporates/reduces, start adding the veggie broth ladle by ladle into the risotto. Stir it until the rice soaks up all the liquid. Repeat over and over again. Until the risotto is nice and creamy.
After 45 minutes, pull the tin foil ball aka roasted garlic out of the oven.
^^It will be nice and creamy and you’ll be able to simply squeeze the garlic out of its paper lining. This is for the dip…(later)
The risotto is done!
This is when you can stir in the feta and the pine nuts.
Now that the garlic is out of the oven, turn the oven up to 500 degrees. And on a sil pat (a baking tray liner made of silicone) put little piles of parmesan cheese. Stick into the oven…
After about 3 minutes you’ll get this…
Drape these cheese chips over a rolling pin, or even a paper towel roll covered in saran wrap.
After they cool and harden, you’ll have a pringle-shaped parmesan cheese cracker!
Perfect for a dip!
I forgot to take pictures of the dip process…
But in the food processor I put 1 can of great northern white beans, 1 tbs tomato paste, about 10 basil leaves, 2 roasted red peppers, salt, pepper, and that roasted garlic bulb. Blend ’til smooth.
^^Dip and Chips^^
And the masterpiece…a risotto stuffed portabella mushroom.
I was pleased with the final product!
Cooking is so therapeutic. Just listening to some great music, clearing my head, and just combining fresh ingredients to make a fresh new dish…instant gratification.
I think my mom and dad liked the dinner too. Success!
After dinner I just had to throw together some homemade almond butter. I’ve been meaning to make it, so I just got to it. And it was so much easier than I’d expected!
What I did was put 1 cup of almonds onto a baking sheet with 2 Tbs maple syrup (the REAL stuff…)
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring 3 times.
Put almonds into a food processor
And start processing!
Stop once in a while to scrape down the sides
After about 5 minutes… It’s done!
My very own homemade Maple Almond Butter!
I am SO excited for my oats tomorrow morning! yea yea!
So I’ll leave you with the question I started with, what defines you? Is it your job? Your hobbies? Your clothes? Your friends? What you watch? What you eat? Whatever it is, make it something good. And be proud of it! And if you’re not- it’s never too late to make a change.
In the words of Little Miss Sunshine,
“Do what you love and f*** the rest!”