Let’s Take a Minute to Reflect

Thanksgiving is a week away, and I think this is the perfect holiday to check-in with yourself! Let’s reflect on all of the amazing accomplishments we’ve done this year. Let’s analyze where we had great successes, personally and professionally, as well as setbacks.

I’ve always looked at the calendar year and the seasons like a life cycle. I think this helps beat any feeling of winter blues because you’re so focused and in tune with yourself, that it’s really hard to feel down when you’re reflecting at how amazing you are!

That sounds narcissistic, I’m sure. In reality, it’s far from. It’s all about bettering yourself. Look at each day like an opportunity. That phrase, ‘Seize the day,’ clearly came from someone with the same mindset. Some days will be the shittiest of days, but knowing that you get to start over when you wake up is sometimes the much-needed relief we all need!

In Winter, I look at this as the R&R period, not ‘Rest and Relax,’ but instead ‘Reflect and Restart!’ Look at the previous year, and analyze the setbacks and successes and move on. Bust out those resolutions, make them achievable and realistic, and get to cracking! I hate resolutions that say I am going to lose 30 pounds. Instead of challenging your waistline, challenge your willpower! You know that if you want to lose weight, you have to eat right and exercise. Doing that DAILY are the small successes we all need! It will challenge your willpower and you will see results! It may not be 30 lbs, it may be 45 and it may be 15, but they’re all steps towards a better direction and ultimately, a better you.

In Spring, everything is starting to bloom and so should you! Use this as your coming out season. You’re refreshed from the reflections, you know what you want, and this year is just beginning to be YOUR YEAR, so make those things happen! Analyze your progress, celebrate all of your successes, and learn to embrace setbacks! Setbacks are needed for continuous growth, because you alwaysย learn from them. Life is not a continuous success, so don’t strive for that ideal perfection. A life full of small victories and occasional setbacks… is what makes life so perfect to begin with!

In Summer, everything is in FULL BLOOM. It’s all about long days and short nights. Take some time off, from all of the distractions, to just enjoy life. It’s also a great time to check-in, when you’re ready, to analyze the ‘Halfway Mark’ of the year, and maybe rework that goal that you had at the beginning of the year. Not all plans are good ones, so analyze what activities or rituals you’ve made great habits in the first 6 months that made you feel great, and continue to implement them into your daily routine. For the things that you dread doing, find a way to give them a facelift. For example, if you hate going to the gym, but love working outside in the garden, find a beautiful park to walk in and get your exercise that way. Always think outside the box, it will help you get to where you want to be!

In Fall, where we are now, use that time to tie up loose ends. Use this time to reflect on the successes and the setbacks, and start to formulate a plan for next year. November is one of my favorite months, it’s the perfect month to recognize others who’ve helped you get to where you are in that very moment. We celebrate Thanksgiving this month, i don’t focus on pilgrims and indians as much as I celebrate surrounding myself with friends, family, and God’s love. You can’t help, but feel blessed and in good favor when you take stock of just how great life is.

I hope you too can find a way to reflect on all of your blessings this season, there’s no right or wrong way or a one-size-fits all to self-improvement. You’ve got to do what works for you!

Cheering you on,

B

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Fresh Starts

I made a huge move to Dallas a few months ago, and time has just flown by. I can’t believe it’s already November and Thanksgiving is a week away!!

I am having the time of my life here in Dallas. I do miss my friends and family back east, but it’s been a somewhat easy transition moving from a small town in Pennsylvania to one of the most busiest, beautiful cities in the country!

I was worried about the challenges I’d face, and there were plenty when I started out. The most simple, mundane tasks like going to the grocery store became a task because I had to find a grocer with quality produce and veggies, and Texas did not disappoint. They have plenty of wonderful options!

There are some challenges I’ve yet to face and overcome, but that’s life!! Part of the fun (and sometimes the headaches) are the mystery life brings to your everyday life!!

Fortunately, all those years of self-taught, home-cooked meals has been paying off. Being on somewhat of a budget means less meals out of the home, and more meals around the dinner table. I’m all in favor of that!!

One of the biggest surprises, even to myself, is that I’ve become a lot more dependent on my faith while adjusting to my new life. Sometimes they say you become dependent on faith when life is hard, but my adjustment wasn’t hard. There’s a quote that C.S. Lewis once said ‘God whispers in your Joys, and Shouts in your Pain.‘ Meaning we don’t see Christ when we’re having a good time, but we are always seeking his help and guidance when times get tough.

I’ve always been very private about my relationship with God. It’s not something I’ve ever been ashamed of, but not something I feel needs promoted either. I respect everyone’s right to worship whomever they choose. I stayed away from church when they turned me away years ago when I came out of the closet. I know that my love for God never changed, so I stayed faithful that God’s love for me never changed as well.

Along with the rest of America, I feel ashamed that I’m living in a country where mass shootings have become a part of our everyday life. It’s now American culture to expect a breaking news bulletin that there’s been a mass shooting, and just today.. someone went on a shooting spree in Northern California.

We’re quick to judge, scream, and cry that somethingย needs to be done to prevent these from happening, but the one thing I was appalled by was when my peers were attacking others for sending ‘Prayers’ to the victims of the shooting and for their families.

I found that so disheartening. Not even the sacred act of prayer was safe. What is going on?!ย I mean, you may be asking that as you’re reading a ‘Food Blog,’ and this post is rather personal and a cry for help for this country to get its shit together.

I think that’s what’s been driving me back to relying on my Faith. I pray for a better tomorrow than today, and I’m grateful for every second I’m on this Earth. Life is a gift, and the very air we breathe is sacred. We all have struggles in this life. I will continue to pray about mine, and for others and their struggles.

I don’t know where this country got so off track, and that’s not a politically driven attack, that’s an honest question. When did it become not okay to pray for your neighbor? When did it become not okay to write a letter to your representatives to ask for better legislation to limit the sales of weapons that allow mass casualties?

Christians call it an attack on Christianity, while others are saying your prayers are not enough. It’s a vicious cycle, and the only light at the end of the tunnel is knowing in my heart, that I will continue to fight for what’s right, but before I do that… I’ll pray about it.

What I do know… is that every person has their struggles. In a day and age where shootings are happening to innocent children, your Faith in God can easily become one of those struggles. Let’s not tease others for trying to ease that pain by praying.

Contrary to popular belief, prayers work!!

Also contrary to popular belief, so does calling your representatives!

Let’s just all get along.

 

Russian-Themed drinks for tomorrow’s Comey Hearing #DayDrinking ๐Ÿฅƒ

Ah, the sweet taste of impeachment! Full of treason, obstruction of justice, and collusion… What else would we expect from America’s Commander in Pussy-Grabbing?!

What better way to celebrate and watch it all go down than with a drink, or two, or five!!

Here’s a list of “Russian-Inspired” drinks that will help you feel festive, if nothing else, while watching it all go down on a fake news channel of your choice! Here’s a hint, they all have vodka.

The Honorary White Russian aka “The Kushner”

You too could taste like deceit, lies, with undertones of Trump’s fragrance line and hints of Penicillin.


2oz Vodka
1oz Coffee Liqueur
Heavy Cream
(Recipe and Image from Liquor.com)

The “Are You Loyal To Me” Martini

The President asks everyone this question, even Melania! Now you can look just as paranoid, questioning the vermouth while whole-heartedly trusting Russia… Vodka. I meant to say Vodka. 


6 parts Vodka
1 part Dry Vermouth
Shake in a ice-filled shaker
Strain in a martini glass
Garnish with one or two olives, depending on how dirty that delicious testimony is
(Image from Liquor.com)

The Mail-Order Bride who Won’t Hold My Hand

God Save Melania. I wouldn’t touch that hand with a 10 foot pole! The sacrifices she makes for Cartier… What an American, err Slovenian Hero! 


4oz White Cranberry Juice
2oz Vodka
1oz Triple Sec
Shake in an Ice-Filled Shaker and strain 
Garnish with your favorite berry! 
Alternatively, you could use red Cranberry juice, but let’s be real.. this administration likes nothing of color! 
(Image from Purple Clover Events)

The Bad Hair Day, All- Day, Everyday

After daydrinking, you too could look just like our commander in chief! Extra points if you can score home-grown cucumbers from the Russian compound in Maryland! 


1 Cucumber, cut into 3 chunks
2oz Fresh Lime Juice
10-15 mint leaves, from 4 sprigs of mint
1.5oz Simple Syrup
3oz Vodka
Muddle 1 of the cucumber chunks along with everything else except the vodka in a shaker. Really get that Cucumber mushed down into bits. Just focus on the popular vote vs electoral votes in this past election, and this should do the trick.
Add ice and your vodka to the cocktail shaker. Strain and serve.
You can garnish with Cucumber slices or snack on your leftover Cucumber chunks. Alternatively, make more of these! They’re yummy!
(Image from Pinterest, Recipe is derived from one on Food52)

The Golden Shower before the 3AM Tweet

Tastes like hooker piss and delusion! Pairs nicely with Ambien. 


5oz Orange Juice
2oz Vodka
Serve Chilled or on the rocks 
(Recipe and Image from Mix That Drink)

The Whistle Blower came from my Twitter

When this day finally comes, this will be all I drink. Our take on the mimosa, with pear nectar and monk fruit! Fancy!! ๐Ÿฅ‚


Put a few drops of Pear Nectar in each flute and sprinkle with Monk Fruit powder. It’s great for the skin, and will sweeten it up a bit!
Top with Champagne of your choice.
Garnish with a Sliced Pear
Revel in our American Glory!
(Image from Robust Recipes)

 

Although I hear Trump doesn’t drink, he may need a few of these concoctions after tomorrow’s hearing!

Lock Him Up,

B




One-Pan Zucchini “Pasta”ย 

A few years ago I was turned on to One-Pan cooking. It’s easy, less mess, and record cleanup time. What’s not to love?!

In that same year I was turned on to Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of the Mad Hungry cookbooks, and frequent QVC extraordinaire with her Spurtle magic! If you don’t yet own a spurtle (or two,) you need to rethink your life and get one (or five!)

She has this amazing take on home-cooking. It’s beneficial for kids and families, and just better for us as home cooks to eat in and not out! One of her great recipes was a one-Pan pasta. It combined all of the essentials in one Pan and left no draining of the pasta because the cooking water soaked into the noodles. It’s a method I’ve gone back to repeatedly as I’ve cooked dinners throughout the years. 

As I mentioned previously about my obsession with the spiralizer, I flirted with the idea of doing a one Pan “Pasta,” but with spiralized zucchini noodles. 

It worked! It wasn’t what I expected, but it was a flavorful dinner that tasted amazing. Like summer on a plate! 


In the Pan, you want to combine Olive Oil, the “Noodles,” along with a chopped red onion, a clove or two of garlic, and some chopped tomatoes, along with some basil. 

Just let it cook over medium and keep tossing it around. You won’t be disappointed. This recipe served two, but you could easily do more and have dinner in under twenty minutes! 

Add the end of its cooking I added a 1/2cup of Freshly grated Parm and stirred it in. It was cheese heaven, paired with those quintessential Italian flavors of quick sautรฉed red onion and basil. My mouth is literally watering! 

Try it out and get creative! You won’t be disappointed! 

Ciao Bella,

Intervention: My Spiralizer

Hi, my name is Brian. I’m 31 years old and I’m completely addicted to my spiralizer. No this isn’t some crazy ass addiction like, “Help! I can’t stop buying ceramic cats on eBay!” This addiction is real, and it’s life-changing!! 

Spiralizing isn’t anything new. I’m actually so late to the party with this. My mom bought a handheld spiralizer a few years ago, but I thought it was a pepper mill and gave up on it about 45 seconds in. 

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when the Spiralizer I ordered arrived through Amazon Prime, and what was once, “As seen on TV” is now, “As seen in every damn meal I make!”

A spiralizer cuts various vegetables like Zucchini into ribbons, thick spirals, or thin spirals. And by spirals… I mean noodles. Carb-Free Noodles!! 

My inner basic white girl just calculated how many more Pumpkin Spice Lattes I can ingest due to the lack of carb-loaded noodles now missing from my diet!! Yasss Queen!! 

As if this wasn’t reason to celebrate enough, it cooks your “Pasta” dishes way faster which is great for the warmer months. You spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what matters most… *insert what matters most to you* 

I’ve made everything from Asian Stir-Fry, to a One-Pan “Pasta”, and a no bake Cacio e Pepe. I’ll be sharing my creations in the coming weeks with all of you! Total game changer, and the spiralizers are not expensive. I bought the veggetti pro for $20 but saw one this weekend at Nordstrom for $65. It was literally the same machine and size but a different brand and in a “Monochromatic Color Palette.”  

I’m pretty sure my family will stage an intervention for my spiralizer before they take on my occasional Rosรฉ and Xanax induced binges. God Bless you Zucchini!! 

Spiralize your Life,

B

Oh, Hello… and yes, it’s been a while

It’s crazy that I just ‘Celebrated’ 6 years of blogging. I use the term ‘blogging,’ loosely as I’m more of an instant blogger. Whether it’s Tweeting out political jabs at the current administration, or filming Snapchat stories devoted to dinner. I instagram and then share to Facebook, and still call myself a ‘blogger.’ It’s actual total bullshit. 

In truth, and speaking candidly, I love to live life and live it well. Yes, not much has changed. I still love to bake, cook, and garden. I still love trying new things in and around the home, and I look forward to giving you all more ideas to try and enrich our lives; For you, your friends, and your family. 

In the past few years, while I wasn’t busy trying to derail America from fucking itself (which it did anyway,) I’ve discovered a love for modern wellness. Some say it’s hope in a jar, but I truly believe, and have preached for years that you are what you eat and what you do! Quality is key in everything we do. I strive to source the best-for-you ingredients, and recipes that will give us a dinner that’s quick and easy and most of all, fun! 

On a personal note, which is what blogs are… I fell in love this past year with the most amazing man! We’re ridiculously cute, and you’ll be insanely jealous. It’s totally cool! ๐Ÿ˜œ 

Also huge life change, I’m moving to Dallas, Texas later this Summer!! This small town guy from PA is going to be a Dallasite, and I’m so effing excited, y’all! 

I can’t promise I’ll blog regularly, and I can’t promise that I won’t blog all the time. With the move, and the new set of challenges that brings… I’m looking forward to blogging about everything I have before AKA “Domesticated bliss,” as well as some thoughts I have in passing, on absolutely whatever. It may be political or something physical, and it may be about some amazing place I stayed at on vacation. That may turn you off from the blog and me altogether, but that’s really unfortunate and sort of impossible because I have pretty amazing skin. (It’s the monk fruit I add to everything! We’ll talk about that later!) 

All my best,

B

Red, White, and Blue Sangria๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I was craving Sangria. I had to work most of the weekend, but was finally able to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.

I was feeling patriotic and grateful for all of those who served and are serving in our armed forces. I concocted a patriotic sangria that was perfect for Memorial Day, will be perfect for the 4th of July, and even something delicious to sip on during election night in November!

It was red, white, blue, and delicious! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, and halved (quartered, if large)

1 cup frozen sour cherries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 1/2 oz cognac

1 1/2 oz St. Germain liqueur 

1 bottle of chilled, dry white wine, reisling or Sauvignon Blanc work well

Instructions

Add fruit to a pitcher, add cognac and St Germain. Lightly muddle fruit with liqueurs. Let chill in refrigerator for one hour. 

Add chilled wine to pitcher. Serve over ice if desired. Ladle some fruit into each glass!

Sip and Celebrate America, baby!