Very Much Alive

Hemingway once said, “When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.” I can’t help but agree with him and after all the fun we had this weekend during our anniversary trip I think we may just live forever.

20140801-212455-77095298.jpg

Table Rock Lake is a huge lake in SW Missouri. Branson (The elderly Vegas of the Midwest) is a part of the 800 miles of shoreline for those that are familiar. With over 43,000 acres of water to explore we had a blast fishing and tubing but the best part was getting two full days away together. The weather has been unseasonably cool so it was completely perfect camping weather. Goldilocks would have even announced it as just right.

We’ve had such a good year together and I can’t wait to share so many more.

20140801-212642-77202525.jpg

Tasty Inspiration

Image

Today’s breakfast was inspired by a single new ingredient to my household.  I’ve used it for years but never purchased it until yesterday (I’ve had a few hookups keeping me supplied).  It is gochujang or Korean hot/red pepper paste.  I initially saw it used on a couple of cooking shows and got curious about it a while ago.  I was lucky enough at the time to have a Korean coworker who supplied me with my first taste.  I used it mostly as a background flavor for soup or marinades but however I used it I was hooked.  I’ve been getting more and more adventurous with spicy foods over the last year or so but having even a half a kilo (just over a pound) of this spicy paste in my fridge intimidated me.  Not the case any more.  I just had to decide what to make with it for my first real attempt at showcasing this delicious paste.

I remember seeing a recipe that caught my eye a while ago for shakshuka.  It is simply poached eggs in a spiced up tomato sauce that originates from the middle east, Tunisia to be exact.  Since I really love poached eggs I made a mental note to try this recipe but hadn’t done so until today.  I felt that with the cold rain that we have today I needed something a bit more comforting to add to the meal.  A toasted tortilla sounded great.  Then the picture of huevos rancheros popped into view.  Why not merge these two meals?  It should be mentioned that I’ve never actually eaten huevos rancheros let alone made them but they’ve always sounded tasty and simple.  

So here’s my translation of this blend of recipes.  I’m calling it shakshuka rancheros with a Korean kick.

Image

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 Tbsp gochujang (you could use Sriracha or something similar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tortilla 

1- Puree gochujang with the can of tomatoes with chilies until most of the chunks are gone but not totally smooth

2- Add puree to a hot skillet and cook until the sauce cooks down just a bit.  Don’t want this to be like soup. Keep at a simmer.

3- Carefully drop cracked eggs into the simmering pan of sauce.  Lower temperature and cover for about 3-4 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking.

4- Toast tortilla in a dry skillet or over the gas flame of your stove.

5- Plate.  Place eggs and sauce over the top of the tortilla and serve hot.

This is just a start of what you could do with this recipe.  I found the heat just right but you could always change up the kind of tomatoes you use or add more gochujang.  Cheese and beans could be added as toppings or even sour cream if you want to go that way with it.  It’s simple, cheap, and very tasty.

 

Hits Home Hard

0286d69bb047557da55e6139c17dbaad

I’ve seen this saying several times over the years but now it hits home hard.  I’m more than aware how people change over the years, myself included.  Sometimes the changes are good, sometimes less than good, and sometimes simply necessary.  I really do like who I have become after facing so many challenges over the last couple of years.  I’m a lot more laid back and can appreciate the simple things.  I don’t know if that’s just from age or if it’s due to my surviving everything.  Whatever the reason I like the outcome.

After my ex and I split and I decided it was time to start putting myself out into the world again I had a pretty set idea of what was desired and what were deal-breakers.  Mix that with not being in a hurry and I think that I found the best approach.  I can say that I have been on some very interesting first dates and even some second dates that would make you laugh (or cringe I guess).  What I am happy to say happened ultimately is that I have found the one that makes my heart smile.  The one man that quiets my overactive brain.  The man who I can’t describe any other way than “just feels right”.  We are similar where it matters but we are different in ways that make sharing time together fun.  We laugh easily and find comfort in something as simple as a quiet embrace.  I’ve shared things with him that I would easily shy away from sharing even with the best of girlfriends making him more than just my confidant.  I’m a worrier and he calms me.  I can honestly say that I understand the sign up above so much more over the last few months and I am overjoyed to have this man in my life.

Thank you, Love, for everything.  I couldn’t have asked for a better man to have walking next to me.

b7cce511e1804eb78f3aa03053f6f222

Being in the Moment

20131127-130953.jpg

This is going to be such an amazing weekend. I’m blessed to be able to spend time with my favorite man, his more than welcoming family, as well as my own beautifully crazy family. As I get older I find that there are so many special moments in life that are to be remembered and savored. I treasure good times spent together more than objects. I’m still a woman though so shiny baubles will always be on my list of good things. But without a strong emotional link behind those shiny things they don’t mean much.

And if that’s just too much happy sappy crap for you, know that there will be more than enough school work mixed in during this long weekend.