Archive for March, 2014


Here’s a recipe of what I made for dinner (and consequently lunch tomorrow).  It would go great with zucchini noodles, but I only had one zucchini…  so, I just ate it with a side of roasted cauliflower.  Yum!  

I apologize that this recipe will be a little annoying, precisely because I measured nothing!  I can’t help it, it’s just how I cook.  I’m giving you my best “guestimations.” You may wonder, why am I posting this?  Because I like it enough to want to recreate it…  this is the template I’m going to use next time. I will make adjustments accordingly and re-post!  I figured, there are probably other people who are similar in how they cook, so maybe they’d like just a template.  Maybe?  Also, I got all my ingredients from Trader Joe’s, except for the bison and herbs. I got the bison at Costco and the herbs from our garden at home.

Sandy’s bison spaghetti sauce (serves 4 with leftovers for the next day)

1.25 lbs. ground bison

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small can of tomato paste

1 jar of roasted red peppers, diced, no liquid

4 sprigs dried thyme

2 tbsp crushed dried oregano

1 cup of yellow onion

4 cloves minced garlic

~ 2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce

1 tsp. coconut sugar

Sea salt (to taste)

Black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)

2 bay leaves

Peeled tomatoes (I used some we froze from last summer, but you could use one large can of San Marzano’s or something)

Put oil in enameled cast iron Dutch oven and set heat to medium-high.  Put in the tomato paste and let it caramelize, stirring to prevent burning. You don’t want it to char! You’ll notice the color should be a little deeper and the consistency is just a little thicker. It took me about 8-10 minutes.

When it’s ready, I stir in the garlic, onion, oregano, and thyme and let them get fragrant. I made an empty spot in the middle of my pot, added a tiny bit of olive oil in the pan (since it looked dry), and put in the ground bison.  I don’t know why I did it that way, but it just seemed right.  I added some salt and pepper to the meat and then began browning it and beginning to mix it with my tomato paste mixture. At this point, I added the roasted red peppers and let the meat continue to brown.  I added the peeled tomatoes when the meat was almost done cooking and covered it to let the whole thing come close to boiling before I reduced the heat to a simmer.  While it was simmering, I added the bay leaves, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper.  Add the sauces and salt/pepper to taste, please. I think it’s personal preference. Simmer until the flavors meld, at least 20 minutes. 

Roasted Cauliflower (my lazy version of Bon Appetit’s recipe, they add onions, thyme, and cheese)

1 head of cauliflower, cut up into bite sized pieces

4 unpeeled cloves of garlic

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Heat the oven to 425 F.  Cut and wash cauliflower.  Place the cauliflower and garlic in a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and toss.  Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want cheese too, sprinkle on some grated Parmesan or whatever hard cheese you have on hand at the end and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes.  I love this recipe. You can season it however you like and it’s just so delicious!

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I’m happy to share that I finally posted my first video on YouTube!  You can watch it here:

As cheesy as this might sound, I’ve really enjoyed the journey of making this first video.  I haven’t perfected anything, but it’s satisfying to have made it through the process, stumbling and learning along the way.  It just feels good to learn something and be able to apply it immediately.  

I’m also really glad that my MacBook Pro from 2006 is still doing well enough to achieve what I sought out to do.  I have an ancient version of iMovie, where I did my editing.  It stinks not being able to have more than one video clip playing side by side, but it was manageable to sync my audio.  It also took a long time to import video footage into iMovie, something around 30 min per 5 min of footage.  *sigh*  Well, if anything, I have MAD respect for those who edit film.  They are amazingly patient and have fantastic imaginations.  Editing can be so hard, but I hope to get better at it!

It was also a challenge trying to figure out how to export my video into a format that works on YouTube without losing quality.  I can only use footage in 720/30 HD because my processors can’t handle 1080.  Luckily, 720 is good enough for what I need to achieve.  When I tried to use the “Web Stream” option for exporting my video, it was crazy baaaaaaaaaad.  Those default settings were horribly outdated, but I was relieved to find that the “Expert Settings” allowed me to enter my own values.  I have to say, YouTube offers an amazing amount of resources so if you dig hard enough, chances are, you’ll find the answers you need.  It’s nice to feel like they want new YouTubers to succeed.  🙂  

All in all, the journey was a good one.  I’m already plotting what my second video will be!  Thanks for reading and please check out my video.  Let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions for videos or any tips on how to edit.  

Inspired!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately…  and perhaps that’s part of my problem.  I think too much.  I need to get to the action part.  

 

Slowly, but surely, I think I’m gathering up the courage to actually DO some of these “things” I’ve been thinking about so much.  Hopefully this blog post won’t be too long or ramble-y, but I was really inspired this weekend by some words of wisdom from someone on YouTube.  

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve returned to being Primal (I’ve been mostly successful so far and I can feel the difference).  In addition to this, I bought a groupon for CrossFit.  Um.  I’m terrified.  I need to sign up already, but for whatever reason, I keep putting it off.  What am I scared of?  Ha.  I’m scared of hurting myself.  My job can be pretty physical and if I’m injured, I can’t work…  I’m also terrified that I’ll be embarrassingly bad at it. 😦  I know…  it sounds so stupid!  I read all the FAQ’s about CrossFit and they go on and on and on about how things are scalable and grandmas can do it, but really?!  Really?!  What I’m really hoping is that I have an unrealistic idea of what it’s all about.  Man, I just need to go and see what it’s like for myself…  I know that I like lifting and I really liked gymnastics when I was a little kid.  The rings were my favorite!  Hopefully that will play in my favor.  Oddly enough, I’m also afraid that I’m really going to like CrossFit and that I’ll just be obsessed. I guess there are worse things, right?  

 

Another thing I’ve thought too much about is posting videos on YouTube.  Truthfully, it’s kind of daunting to put something out there because there are always haters.  There’s also so much content out there!  Who will want to watch my collection of videos?  I see other YouTube channels and they have a niche: beauty gurus, movie parodies, comedy sketches, product reviews, short films, etc.  I think the main thing that is stopping me is over-thinking all the logistics.  When it comes down to it, I just want to post videos so I can share my thoughts and create.  That’s all.  I was worried about putting myself in a niche first, putting out “professional” content, having perfect video editing skillz, etc.  I understand now that I don’t have to start out perfect, but enjoy the journey of learning about all those things and just get STARTED already.  If people like what I post, that’s amazing.  I just want to start making stuff and sharing.  So.  I’ll have a video out in the next week or so, depending on how much time I have after work.  (I work crazy long hours and commute a looong distance).  I think the first thing I post will be music related…  We’ll see.  

Thanks for reading.  If you have words of wisdom, please comment below.  Is there anything that you’ve been afraid of that you’re finally ready to take action on?

 

I haven’t blogged in a couple weeks and I’ve been missing it.  I’ve been ill for the past few days and wasn’t really functioning too well.  While I was in my bed, I was thinking about how bad I’ve been about taking care of myself this winter.  Last winter, I barely got sick, but this time…  man.  Granted, this winter has been unendingly brutal, but if I’m honest with myself, I was taking MUCH better care during the winter of 2012-13.

I don’t think I’ve ever publicly said this to my friends and I guess it’s sort of odd to just put it on the internet, but hey, I already revealed that I’ve gotten really into makeup recently, might as well let you know that I’m returning to Primal/Paleo as part of my lifestyle again.  I started going Primal  around October 2012.  In a nutshell, I felt like I could focus better, I wasn’t hungry all the time, and I felt like my immune system was much stronger.  Around the holidays of 2013, I’ve gotten into bad habits, where I stopped cooking and became careless about what I chose to eat.  Let’s just say, I notice the difference, not only in my body composition, but I feel moodier and my immune system has been crap.  I thought about this a LOT while I was sick this weekend and decided that it was time to return to being Primal.  If you want to read up on what all this Primal business is about, please go to http://www.marksdailyapple.com and click on the tab that says “Start Here.”  It will explain things much better than I can in a brief blog post.  Maybe in the future, I’ll post something about my personal experience with being Primal.

So…  today is my first day back in Primal mode.  I made buffalo chicken lettuce wraps for dinner and I followed (sort of) a recipe from Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo.  I like this book a lot and find myself using it often.  I made some modifications because of what I had in my kitchen and I wanted to make extra for lunches this week AND feed the family.  Here’s my version:

4 lb. boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs

5 tsp. (or 1-2/3 tbsp.) smoked paprika

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

~ 2 tbsp of coconut oil (not sure how much I really used, but I had enough to grease my cast iron grill pan)

Slice chicken thighs into 1/4 inch strips.  Toss the chicken in a mixing bowl with all the seasoning.  Let the grill pan heat up on medium heat and melt the coconut oil.  Place chicken on grill pan when heated, cooking for ~ 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally until the chicken is white all the way through.  It won’t be the easiest to see since the chicken will be red/orange, but just make sure nothing is pink…

I eat this with butter lettuce, as recommended by Diane, with some avocado slices.  I had a sauce made with some fish sauce, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and scallions…  it’s the korean version?  Diane recommends it with sliced avocado, halved grape or cherry tomatoes, and some chopped green onion.

This recipe was pretty easy to make.  I didn’t have chipotle powder, so I substituted the smoked paprika and regular paprika instead.  I enjoyed the flavor, which I’m glad, especially since I’m going to be eating this for DAYS.  If you don’t want to make this much chicken, divide everything by four and just use 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika or chipotle powder…

Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think.  I’ll probably be posting about some favorite recipes for time to time.  I also have some makeup reviews in the queue, like the Hourglass blushes and the new Maybelline Color Tattoos.    See you soon.